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"Guma de șters a creionului este mică."

Translation:The eraser on the pencil is small.

November 23, 2016

11 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cheerfulcharlie

Why is there an "a" before "creionului" here? Normally, when using the genitive to show possession, there is no "a" inserted before the possessor and the possessed thing.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Majo880362

I have an idea since I ask myself the same: Maybe it is because the article "Gum-a-" is followed by another part of the construction "de șters". So the genitive can not follow directly after the article. But to show the connection they probably include the possesion "a" in this special case "Guma de șters a creionului"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jonas432640

That's the same question I want to pose...


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Tony713682

When I went to school in England and Australia (some sixty five years ago) we used to call the eraser a rubber. You only heard the term eraser in American films. I suppose that the term has disappeared from use because of some other connotations. It was a perfectly good term, because it actually provided two descriptions in one word: the action of rubbing out and the material which was some sort of rubber.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lixmage

It is still called a rubber as far as I know.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GrossiBP

absolutely right, rubber still exists


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Howard

"Rubber" was still used in Canada when I was a kid (a long time ago). I think it's disappearing in favour of "eraser."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Paolo70924

why do we insert an "a" before the genitive case?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/lebo_bebo

I have the same question. Is there someone out there that can help us all please?!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/cheerfulcharlie

This response is more or less copied from another DL thread:

The possessive marker "al, a, ai, ale" is used when the possessed noun has a definite article AND the possessed noun is placed right before the possessor. Both of these conditions must be satisfied to avoid use of the possessive marker "al, a, ai, ale."

In other words, if EITHER of these two conditions are not met, then the possessive marker "al, a, ai, ale" must be used.

Examples: cartea copilului (lit. "the book of the child"), not cartea a copilului. If either condition is not met, then the possessive article appears: o carte a copilului (lit. "a book of the child") (the possessed noun does not have a definite article); cartea frumoasă a copilului (lit. "the beautiful book of the child") (the possessed noun is not placed right before the possessor); o carte frumoasă a copilului (lit. "a beautiful book of the child") (the possessed noun does not have a definite article and is not placed right before the possessor).

Another helpful way to think about: Always use the possessive marker "al, a, ai, ale" to show possession unless the possessor is both directly adjacent to the noun possessed AND the noun that is possessed is definite.

In some ways, this is analogous to English. When showing possession of an indefinite noun in English, you cannot say, "a my friend." No, you must instead say, "a friend of mine" (un prieten al meu).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David985729

Unless you are talking about a specific pencil, this should be: "The eraser on a pencil..." or "A pencil eraser ..." or "The eraser of a pencil ...".

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